It is hard to believe the fall semester of the law school is upon us: Today is Orientation for the incoming first-year students. I will get to speak to them in a group this morning about the various worship and spiritual growth opportunities that we offer during the school year. It was also my privilege to spend some time this past weekend with those of them who attended our semi-annual vocation weekend retreat (which, as always, was a wonderful experience).
It is an exciting time for our new students, but it can also be a bit scary, as they begin something completely new. And so, with prayers and best wishes, I offer to the 1Ls (and to all those starting something new this season) this blessing For a New Beginning, by John O’Donohue:
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.